Dec. 15, 2017 Around 10000 workers joined a demonstration in Madrid on 14 December called by the CCOO and UGT trade unions as part of their campaign to win back rights for the three million public sector workers who have been hit by austerity measures. Public services have been hit by job cuts while workers have seen their hours increased and pay fall by 13% in real terms since 2010. EPSU president Isolde Kunkel-Weber joined the march and expressed solidarity on behalf of EPSU.
Dec. 15, 2017 A 24-hour strike called by the ADEDY and GSEE confederations on 14 December had widespread impact on public services across the country. The confederations were protesting at further austerity measures with plans for cuts in pensions and take-home pay as well as threats to the right to strike. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Dec. 15, 2017 Unions report a high level of support - 70%-80% in some areas - for the strike by doctors and health managers on 12 December. The action involved many organisations in the sector including FP-CGIL, UIL-FPL and CISL Medici. The strike was called in support of negotiations to renew doctors' contracts after eight years without any bargaining. But the unions are also raising issues around precarious work and training for young doctors as well as the issue of funding. The unions are criticising the government for failing to increase health funding as a percentage of GDP.
Dec. 14, 2017 Negotiations covering the public sector are due to begin in early January and unions have included action on equal pay as a priority. They want the employers to agree higher increases for sectors dominated by women. Unions say that comparing similar jobs requiring the same qualifications and training shows that those in sectors dominated by women are paid less than in a sector dominated by men. The FOA public services union argues this is an historic demand that requires coordinated action and it is pleased that has got the support of the many other unions in the public sector bargaining group.
Nov. 30, 2017 The FPU trade union confederation has called a demonstration outside parliament on 6 December with a number of key demands on the government. These include: setting the minimum wage at the level not lower than the real living wage (UAH 4023); setting the basic wage of a worker in the lowest pay grade at the level above the minimum wage; settling all outstanding wage arrears by the end of the year; reducing utilities prices; ensuring the right to affordable and quality health care and preventing any curtailing of existing worker and trade union rights in adopting a new Labour Code.
Nov. 30, 2017 In preparation for the upcoming bargaining round where it will be involved in negotiating around 60 agreements, the JHL public services union has underlined the importance of protecting the purchasing power of public sector workers just as much as those in the private sector. Rejecting a call from employers that public sector union pay demands should be moderate, JHL notes that a number of private sector negotiations have led to pay increases of around 3.2% over two years.
Nov. 30, 2017 A planned series of protests by the FNV trade union was suspended earlier this month following an initial commitment from the government to additional funding for the ambulance service. The union had set 15 November as the first day of action in a campaign to highlight the issue of serious staff shortages which had led to 20 of the 24 regional services failing to meet performance targets. The campaign has been suspended until 15 January on the basis of the health minister's proposal for an extra EUR 10 million a year for training and recruitment and a one-off investment of EUR 5.7 million to provide 20 new ambulances. Whether the campaign is resumed depends on the outcome of negotiations set for 14 December and 15 January.
Nov. 29, 2017 The Fagforbundet public services trade union has called on municipalities to end any contracts with the Orange nursing staff agency. Local authorities in Oslo and Bergen have already terminated contracts with the company following evidence of its infringement of various regulations including health and safety law. The company also failed to maintain services to users and to comply with demands from the authorities to meet the terms of its contract. Fagforbundet says the company is also guilty of paying wages well below the sector agreement while press reports have revealed the company's tax avoidance strategy.
Nov. 29, 2017 The ver.di services union has negotiated a new agreement with the management of the university hospitals of the towns of Gießen and Marburg in the Hesse region in central Germany. This is a major success arising from the union's national campaign of protests and strikes calling for action on staffing in the sector. The agreement, covering 7000 workers, provides for the possibility of taking on new workers as well as creating a pool of workers who are in a position to cover short and long-term gaps in staffing. It also commits the management and union to negotiate over measures to address persistent cases of understaffing. In the meantime ver.di continues its campaign to secure legislation at federal level to set safe staffing levels.
Nov. 29, 2017 The public service federations of the CCOO and UGT confederations organised a joint mobilisation of public administration workers on 29 November as part of their campaign for increased pay, more jobs and a return of rights lost during austerity. This followed a public-sector wide demonstration on 24 November with plans for further action on 14 December. The unions argue that services are under threat as 14% of jobs have been cut and reduced recruitment has created an ageing workforce where half are over 50. Since the 5% pay cut in 2010 there has been only a single pay increase of 1% while inflation has risen by 8% over the period. The unions want to see the restoration of other payments and entitlements that have been lost. Earlier on 29 November, the EPSU Executive Committee passed a resolution expressing its support for the unions along with affiliates in France, Italy and Portugal who are facing similar challenges.
Nov. 27, 2017
Workers in the elder care sector in Bizkaia, northern Spain, backed by the Basque Workers’ Solidarity trade union ELA, have reached an historic agreement bringing an end to a 360-day long strike, the longest in the region’s history.
Nov. 20, 2017
The European Institutions signed the EU Pillar of Social Rights at the EU Social Summit on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg. The Pillar, which sets out the commitment of Member States and the European Union to develop a Social Europe
Nov. 17, 2017 The ssp/vpod public service union is mobilising again to defend the right to strike for care workers in the Fribourg region. The proposal for the ban is coming from right-wing MPs in the cantonal parliament despite the fact that the union had successfully negotiated with the state council to preserve care workers' right to strike (see epsucob@NEWS 15 and 17 in September). The union called for a big protest outside the Grand Council on 17 November.